Revised, April 2, 2014:
I want to share with you what was revealed to me through the Holy Spirit about addiction, but first, I want to define addiction: addiction is "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming." Habits and patterns associated with addiction are typically characterized by immediate gratification (short-term reward), coupled with delayed harmful effects (long-term consequences)."
When our addictions reach a harmful stage and become uncontrollable, we seek out professional help either by entering a behavioral health care center or private therapy. The role of the therapist is to help investigate our innermost thoughts, feelings and behaviors in an effort to help us attain a greater level of happiness. They look at how our unconscious mind influences our thoughts and behaviors. This usually involves looking at early childhood experiences in order to discover how those events may have shaped who we are and how they contributed to our current actions. In other words, a therapist tries to get us to change how we think about ourselves.
I spent approximately thirteen of my twenty years of counseling in behavioral health, counseling addictions and using the above therapeutic process. There where successes, but the failures outweighed them. Even with the successes one or two years later there were individuals who relapsed; meaning, a recurrence of the addiction. As I continued to research the successes, I noticed that those who connected themselves with an organization that taught the word of God remained substance free for longer periods, eventually developing a healthier life style. So, I thought this needs further investigation.
One day, as I was perusing the bible, several scriptures were revealed to me. The following scripture is the one that helped me and continues to help connect the dots; "The mind GOVERNED by the FLESH is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so Romans 8:7. After meditating on this scripture for a time, I thought, maybe we are looking at addictions the wrong way. If our mind is not governing our flesh, then how can we defeat our addictions through psychotherapy? I received the following revelation; THE FLESH ALWAYS GOVERNS THE MIND WHEN GOD'S SPIRIT IS NOT PRESENT IN US. “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please Galatians 5:17.” Note: THE FLESH sets IT'S desires against the spirit indicating our flesh does not belong to us; therefore not controlled by our mind.
Now, if the flesh is governing our mind, then selfish ambition and self-love is what drives it; addictions are all about self-gratification. We choose to be governed by our flesh because we love our selfish nature. The following describes our flesh nature, Galatians 5:19-21 says; “acts of the flesh” are sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Our flesh is the sin skin we were born into which is SATAN'S CURSED NATURE. FLESH IS THE ADDICTION, not sex, food, drugs, alcohol... Addictions are the acts of the flesh. The flesh is like a child, it cries out when it cannot have what it wants. The natural mind cannot subdue it, which is why we need the Holy Spirit to put flesh under submission.
The following scripture presents further evidence of our nature; "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is DEATH, but to set the mind on the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE Romans 8:5-6 ESV." Therefore, when we set our mind on things of the flesh, flesh controls our way of thinking, making it impossible for us to control our addictions.
As therapist, all we are doing is putting a band aid on a leaking pipe. We must renew the pipe. No one can be truly free of their addictions without the Holy Spirit. Romans 6:16 NLT says; Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. If our flesh is Satan's cursed nature and he is spirit, it will take a spirit to defeat a spirit. We were born into sinful flesh, now we must be re-born into spirit to free ourselves from its bondage. Without receiving the Holy Spirit, we are slaves to the flesh going from one addiction to another.